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Police Leadership

Positive leadership in the police force is something that is very important to our community and country today. Leadership is when members of an organization use their energies appropriately and morally and achieving a departments goals. The police departments is a goal directed organization. For some one to be a positive leader they must put the departments goals ahead of fulfilling his personal needs of achievement. With out proper leadership especially in the police force our community doesn’t stand a fair chance.

When it come to leadership authority and power come into play. Though these two terms may sound alike they have a very different meaning when it come to working in a police force. Authority is the grant mad by the a formal organization to a position. When some was is an Authority automatically they are able to influence others to perform acts. Power is the grant mad by the led to the leader. “Power is an indispensable dimension of the police departments.”(pg 213)

Leadership requires that the leader knows exactly the importance of there influence on the outcome of events and are willing and proud to play a role in that process. To be a leader one must posses certain skills and characteristics. One must be confident, a good judge of character. Important traits are at least above average Intelligence, well rounded, mature, powerful inner drive, knows how to cooperate, and has exceptional social skills. These are all things needed to be a leader. Not all leaders have a positive effect on the administration. It is up to the individuals and other leaders to take it upon themselves to make sure the correct and appropriate directions are being taken. There are three specific leadership skills in a police department. They are Technical skills, Human Relations skills , Conceptual skills and Technical skills. Technical skills are to have the ability to perform basic police functions. Human relations it the ability to interrelate positively with other people. This is used at all the levels of the police department. The number one and most important Human Relation skill is communication. With out communication nothing will ever get done. Conceptual skills are critical. It is the ability to understand information.

There have been many theories of leadership. They attempt to explain the nature of leadership. Theses theories include the “great man theory”, the traits approach, behavioral explanation and situational theories. The “great man” theory was that of Thomas Carlyle and George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. “Carle believe that leaders were usually endowed individuals who made history”(pg 217) Hegel agreed with Francis Galton and believe that there where individuals who where born leaders. Through a genetic make up they where borne with the potential and traits to become a leader.

There are different styles of leadership. Some may be better than others. They are Authoritarian, Democratic and Laissez-faire. An Authoritarian style makes all the decisions on his judgment and doesn’t ask subordinates. Though authoritarians produce the most work they generate anger. A Democratic style is probably the most effective from my point of view. They are group and people oriented and tries to get others to participate. Their work is just about efficient as authoritarians. Laissez-faire style is the least effect full. They have a hands off and passive approach. Their work quality is poor and unsatisfying. They are not considered a leader.

Anthony Downs came up with four types of leadership styles in bureaucratic structure; climbers, conservers, zealots and advocates. Climbers are motivated by power. Hence the name “climbers” they will clime over you to get where they want to go. They like to expand there functions. As for conservers they resist change they like to stay comfortable and secure. Zealots their energy focuses on just their own interest. They do not attend to all there duties. They rarely succeed to higher positions. Advocates promote everything under their jurisdiction. They are loyal and will promote or appose what they think may be beneficial or non-beneficial to their organization, this can also be a fault some times. In leadership there are two concerns. The concern for the production and the concern for the people. These concerns where adressed by Blake and Mouton and made into a “grid” called The Managerial Grid. The grid consists of five different management. The two that pertain to the concern for people are the Country Club Management which is the attention to the needs of people and a friendly atmosphere, and the Team Management wich is work accomplishment from commited people and a relationship of trust and respect. The two that pertain to the concerns for production are the Impoverised Management that has to deal with geting required work done, and the Authority-Obedience which is efficiency in operations. The one management that is in between the two is the Organization Man Management this deals with making adequate organization performance possible through balancing everything to satisfy the people and organization.